KAMLOOPS, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Apr 1, 2017) - Today, over 30 organizations representing hundreds of thousands of members across British Columbia and Canada announced their support to the Stk'emlúpsemc te Secwépemc Nation's (SSN) decision to withhold its free, prior and informed consent to the development of the lands and resources at Pípsell (Jacko Lake and area) for the purposes of KHGM's Ajax copper-gold mine.
The announcement was made this morning during an Allies Meeting and a Solidarity Ceremony held at the Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia. Supporting organizations signed a "Declaration of Support" to the SSN Pípsell Decision, announced on March 4th of this year (see list and quotes of supporting organizations enclosed).
The Ajax Mine Project in its proposed location at Pípsell is in opposition to the SSN land use objective for this profoundly sacred, culturally important, and historically significant keystone site, which significance is fundamental and undiminished. If approved, the mine would destroy part of Jacko Lake and irreversibly affect Pípsell.
"The SSN has taken a historic step in self-determination through conducting its own independent assessment of the Ajax open pit project in accordance with SSN laws, traditions, customs and governance system. The SSN wants to preserve the use of Pípsell area for all British Columbians and Canadians in accordance with Secwepemc law," states Dr Ron Ignace, Chief of Skeetchestn.
The SSN, which represents the communities of Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc and Skeetchestn Indian Band, has an irreplaceable historical, cultural and spiritual connection to Pípsell. Councillor Viola Thomas, Tk'emlúps te Secwepemc, says: "This connection is deeply rooted in one their oral histories: the Trout Children Stseptékwll. The Trout Children Oral History is inseparably connected to the place of the proposed Ajax mine site. It encapsulates and expresses the human connection of Stk'emlúpsemc te Secwépemc, to Pípsell. It sustains Secwépemc law about Secwépemc conduct on the land and the reciprocal accountability to living beings on the land, social conduct across generations and within generations."
See new video release here https://vimeo.com/210983969, and 12-page SSN Decision here http://miningwatch.ca/sites/default/files/2017-03-ssnajaxdecisionsummary_0.pdf
- Dr Ron Ignace, Chief of Skeetchestn
- Councillor Viola Thomas, Tk'emlúps te Secwepemc
|Declaration of Support to Stk'emlúpsemc te Secwépemc Nation,|
|April 1st, 2017, Kamloops:|
|Union of BC Indians Chiefs|
|British Columbia Assembly of First Nations|
|Shuswap Nation Tribal Council|
|First Nations Women Advocating for Responsibile Mining|
|Indigenous Environment Network|
|West Coast Environmental Law|
|David Suzuki Foundation|
|Sierra Club BC|
|Council of Canadians|
|Rivers Without Borders|
|Fair Mining Collaborative|
|BC Environmental Network|
|Kamloops Code Blue|
|Kamloops Physicians for a Healthy Environment Society|
|Kamloops Area Preservation Association|
|Kamloops Moms For Clean Air|
|Thompson Institute for Environmental Studies|
|Thompson Rivers University Faculty Association Human Rights Committee|
|Thompson Watershed Coalition|
|Aberdeen Neighborhood Area|
|Sagebrush Neighbourhood Association|
|Coalition East Kamloops|
|Concerned Citizens of Quesnel Lake|
|Forest Protection Allies|